As you know the key to effective productivity isn't just about completing and finishing tasks, it's about finishing your most important tasks first. Not only should you complete your most important task first, but whenever you tackle your daily to-do list it's best to complete your tasks starting with the most important then work your way down the list until you are left with relatively unimportant tasks. Personal development success coach Brian Tracy wrote about a simple system called the ABCDE method which is a priority setting technique that you can use every day to help determine which tasks you should start on first.
Here are the simple steps to getting started on it.
1. Firstly write down everything you must do for that day in a long list.
2. Next to each task you should place an A,B,C,D, or E according to which category the task falls in to.
A – You would give a task an 'A' rating if there are many positive ramifications for completing the task or many negative ramifications if you do not complete the task. An 'A' task is one that if completed will have a huge impact on your life. If you have more than one task that falls into this category then you can label them A1, A2, A3 etc. organizing them in order of importance.
B – A 'B' task is one that is important and something you should do. It will not have as much of an impact on your life as an 'A' task but needs to be done nonetheless. Such examples include checking your e-mails or returning a business call. Brian Tracy says that a 'B' task must always be done after all 'A' tasks have been completed.
C – This type of tasks is one that is 'nice to do' but not overly important – i.e. learning a new language, meeting a friend. In other words there aren't any real consequences if you do not complete a C task.
D – Is a task that can be delegated or outsourced to someone else. You should be focusing on tasks that only you can do and outsourcing tasks that anybody can do. Use your skill wisely to attend to your A tasks. Such activities could be cleaning, gardening, administrative work etc.
E – An 'E' task should be eliminated. This task is not important and will add nothing to your life if you do it, or if you don't do it.